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February 03, 2016

The Settlers

Have you seen that Direct TV commercial The Settlers? When I see it I can’t help but think of Democratic Party progressives favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Their hearts are with all that Bernie stands for … but it’s all so impractical.

The Fivethirtyeight Endorsement Primary has Clinton with 465 points and Sanders with two. Clinton is trying to blunt Sanders’ lead in New Hampshire by portraying it as a friend and neighbors vote, but she has eighty Granite State endorsements to Sanders six. Big time progressive Paul Krugman is leading the charge against the wooly socialist.

The Democrats are a little like Jebediah in The Settlers ad, when he says “We’re Settlers, son. We settle for things.”

Rubio Lines that Crack Me Up

There are a couple of lines that Marco Rubio recites repeatedly that I think must be highly effective with Republican primary voters but which really crack me up: “Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being the commander-in-chief of the United States” and “she can never be commander-in-chief of the United States.” It's his delivery that makes it so funny.

He gives his reasons and it’s a Republican nomination season, I get it, but they’re just funny lines. I can’t find the disqualifier in the Constitution, I just can’t. Plus if we go too far down that road how do you explain Bill Clinton and George W. Bush serving as commander-in-chief, and not John McCain and John Kerry?

Trump Joins Campaign for Voting Rights

Since the United States District Court is hearing a law suit challenging the state of North Carolina’s voter laws aimed at suppressing the votes of poor and minority voters, I’ve had voter disenfranchisement on my mind. What has happened in some states to quash the votes of citizens is unconscionable, so I was delighted to see that Donald Trump is concerned too. Then I found out it isn’t voter disenfranchisement he is concerned with but a loony claim that Ted Cruz stole Iowa.

Ted Cruz, Progressive

About 3:58 into Ted Cruz’s victory speech (here) he is explaining his remarkable upset and credits “the revolutionary understanding that all men and all women are created equal.”

Now I know that Ted Cruz is an originalist so I was puzzled by that line because I teach the Declaration of Independence all the time and Jefferson wrote “all men are created equal.” Nothing about women. Maybe Cruz meant the Seneca Falls Resolution?

What the words meant in 1776 as well as what they mean now is important to my class in The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln because Lincoln argued that “all men are created equal” meant African-Americans as well as whites. Stephen Douglas contended that the Founders did not intend African-Americans to be among those created equal. As Lincoln related the issue on August 10, 1858, “we have Judge Douglas giving his exposition of what the Declaration of Independence means, and we have him saying that the people of America were equal to the people of England.” That would have excluded Germans, Irish, and other immigrants.

And if Cruz actually does believe in “the revolutionary understanding that all men and all women are created equal” then his plans to carpet bomb ISIS and make the sands glow are endangered, because carpet bombing and nuclear weapons kill extraordinary numbers of innocent people who presumably are “all men and all women ... created equal.”

It’s a baffler all right.

Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton

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